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Tag: aerification

Take Advantage of Breaks in Summer Heat for Putting Green Management

By Jack Fry

Looks like we’ve got a short-term period of cooler temperatures over the next several days.  Midsummer heat relief is good for us, and it’s also a great time to do some of the cultural practices we often avoid during midsummer heat.

Creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass don’t like the heat, and really don’t appreciate it when we implement certain cultural practices during hot weather.  On greens that have shallow roots and experience indirect heat stress, any kind of stress brought about with cultural practices can sometimes be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”  Consider implementing some of the following during short stretches of cool weather:

1) Solid tine aerification.  Opening up the surface of the green can help get oxygen to roots and prevent a “sealing off” of the surface that can arise when organic matter accumulates.

2) Verticutting.  Using vertical knives to cut leaves and stolons is certainly a stress to the plant, and now is a good time to do it if your greens are grainy (a la Johnny Miller!), or are accumulating more organic matter at the surface than desired.

3) Sand topdressing.  Topdressing during midsummer can be stressful to the plant especially if it the sand is dragged into the surface.

4) Product applications.  Some products can potentially cause more injury to creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass when applied during hot weather, including liquid fertilizers, plant growth regulators, wetting agents, and even some fungicides.   Labels on some products specify temperatures in which they should be applied.  Use the break in the temperatures to apply products that may be needed.

5) Mowing and rolling.  If you haven’t done it yet, raise the mowing height if you can, and roll a few days each week instead of mowing.  Having more leaf area is always a good thing for the plant.

Homeowner Do-It-Yourself Lawn Calendar Reminders!

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Earlier this year I wrote two blog posts that listed out both a cool- and warm-season lawn calendar for homeowners.  If you are anything like me then I have already forgot what I was suppose to do so sometimes it is good to have a reminder.

Cool-season Lawn Calendar Reminder 

June through Mid-July
Apply second round of crabgrass preventer by June 15 – unless you have used Dimension (dithiopyr) or Barricade (prodiamine) for the April application. These two products normally provide season-long control with a single application. Remember to water it in. If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid during the first half of July. This works to prevent grub damage. It must be watered in before it becomes active.

Warm-season Lawn Calendar Reminder

May – August 15
Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application. Follow the recommendations on the bag. More applications will give a deeper green color, but will increase mowing and may lead to thatch buildup with zoysiagrass. Bermudagrass can also have problems with thatch buildup but thatch is less likely with Bermuda than zoysia. Bermudagrass – Use two to four applications. Zoysiagrass – Use one to two applications. Too much nitrogen leads to thatch buildup.

One Application: Apply in June.
Two Applications: Apply May and July.
Three Applications: Apply May, June, and early August.
Four Applications: Apply May, June, July, and early August.

Remember to look and see if you are using a quick release nitrogen source or a slow release nitrogen source.  If you use a quick release source then it is immediately available but only lasts a couple weeks.  Thats why you would have to make a couple of applications like it is listed above.  If you are going to use a slow release source it will tell you on the bag how long the product will last.  Therefore, you might not have to make as many applications.

So generally you want to use a total of 2 to 4lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for bermudagrass and 1 to 2 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for zoysiagrass.

Buffalograss – Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet during June. More applications will give a deeper green color. If it is felt that a second application is needed, apply in July. Do not exceed more than 2 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per YEAR for a home lawn.

June
If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid by mid July. Imidacloprid can be applied as early as mid May if there are problems with billbugs or May beetle grubs. These products kill the grubs before they cause damage. They are effective and safe but must be watered in before they become active.

June is also a good time to core aerate a warm-season lawn. Core aeration will help alleviate compaction, increase the rate of water infiltration, improve soil air exchange and help control thatch.

For the full Do-It-yourself Lawn Calendars click the links below

Warm-Season – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/homeowner-do-it-yourself-lawn-calendar-for-warm-season-grass/ 

Cool-Season – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/homeowner-do-it-yourself-lawn-calendar-for-cool-season-grasses/

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

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Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

USGA’s Bob Vavrek gives insight on the “Turf Trifecta”

Bob Vavrek explains how the hot humid weather finally has made life miserable for maintaining cool-season turfgrass putting greens.  There are options out there to help out your putting greens but you always want to make sure to minimize injury to the turf during these stressful times.

Check out the article on the USGA website here.

http://www.usga.org/course-care/regional-updates/central-region/the-turf-trifecta.html

 

Aerification… Some people love it, some think it’s a cuss word.

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

IMG_0591This article by Adam Moeller came across my email the other week and I know a lot of you golf course superintendents received it as well but I thought it would be good to share again. There was one quote in here that I really liked – “The greens may not play their best immediately following some aeration treatments, but everyone is playing the same conditions and golfers still can enjoy the game and make plenty of putts. After all, Tom Watson once shot a 58 when playing at Kansas City Country Club just a few days after the greens had been aerified.”

This article addresses many different emotional and scientific

http://www.usga.org/course-care/forethegolfer/why-do-golf-courses-aerate-so-much-.html

More articles on and a video on aerificaiton;

http://www.usga.org/course-care/our-experts-explain0/why-do-we-always-aerate-when-the-greens-are-perfect-21474872028.html

 

 

Power Raking or Core Aeration? That is the question!

(By Ward Upham and Jared Hoyle; KSU Research and Extension)

September is the optimum time to power rake or core-aerate tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass lawns. These grasses should be coming out of their summer doldrums and beginning to grow more vigorously. This is a good time to consider what we are trying to accomplish with these practices.

IMG_1534   Power raking is primarily a thatch control operation. It can be excessively damaging to the turf if not done carefully. For lawns with one-half inch of thatch or less, I don’t recommend power raking but rather core aeration. For those who are unsure what thatch is, it is a springy layer of light-brown organic matter that resembles peat moss and is located above the soil but below the grass foliage. Power raking pulls up an incredible amount of material that then must be dealt with by composting or discarding.

Core-aeration is a much better practice for most lawns. By removing cores of soil, core-aeration relieves compaction, hastens thatch decomposition, and improves water, nutrient, and oxygen movement into the soil profile. This operation should be performed when the soil is just moist enough so that it crumbles easily when worked between the fingers. Enough passes should be made so that the holes are spaced about 2 to 3 inches apart. Ideally, the holes should penetrate 2.5 to 3 inches deep. The cores can be left on the lawn to decompose naturally (a process that usually takes two or three weeks, depending on soil-type), or they can be broken up with a power rake set just low enough to nick the cores, and then dragged with a section of chain-link fence or a steel doormat. The intermingling of soil and thatch is beneficial to the lawn.

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf